Where is uptown actually downtown? In Waterloo, naturally! As ION slides into the Waterloo Public Square station, you’ll find yourself passing by a ‘square’ that’s been a shopping mall and office complex, and now a public space.
The image above shows the stores and office tower of Waterloo Town Square, which opened on 19 October 1961. Construction of the complex followed the demolition of the Waterloo Manufacturing and Snyder factory buildings and required the enclosure and burial of Laurel Creek beneath the area. In addition to retail stores, the mall included a bowling alley in the basement. Waterloo Town Square was expanded in 1977.
Plans for the demolition of the mall started in 2000, along with a proposal to extend Willis Way to Caroline Street. By 2005, the office building of the complex was torn down. The mall was remodelled to include street facing retail space and the public square was opened in 2009 to provide a gathering space for public events, music, and festivals.
This is post 6 of 19 in the Stories That Move You series.
Stories that Move You is a Kitchener Public Library project that celebrates the launch of ION service with curated collections of reads, music, audio, learning resources, and local history to help people make the most of an unique window of time during their public transit ride.